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August 13, 2012

Davis battling for a spot

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It's been a long road to Texas Tech for Jordan Davis.

The 5-foot-10, 174-pound Arlington native was a victim of his own success in high school. Though he preferred to play wide receiver, Davis was asked to fortify Arlington High's secondary because of the team's weakness on defense.

A three-year starter at defensive back, Davis caught the attention of several FCS programs, but none offered him a chance to play receiver. Ultimately, Davis signed with the only school that would take him on offense: Division II Southwestern Oklahoma State.

[ More RRS: Saturday proves Tech will be more explosive than it was in 2011 ]

Davis had a promising freshman season with the Bulldogs, catching 20 passes for 225 yards and a team-leading three touchdowns. This success affirmed that he could play receiver at the collegiate level, and led to Davis thinking about a bigger stage.

"I wasn't starting at first," he said. "The fourth game I started and had a pretty good season, 11 games. It was a pretty good season and I knew I could play receiver. I always had loved Tech with its good offense and its receivers. It was on the top of my list.

"I felt like I'd regret it if I didn't try to just get up and walk-on at Tech."

While Davis didn't have any ties to the Red Raiders' current coaches, he did have some familiarity with their predecessors.

"When I was going to be a junior, I came to camp (at Tech) and I played receiver," Davis said. "I got really close with Lincoln Riley and that old coaching staff. He couldn't believe that I was playing defense in high school. All he needed was tape and stuff like that, so I was getting recruited as an athlete (by Tech) a little bit my senior year before the whole coaching change.

"I knew the younger (Tommy) Mainord through (former Tech defensive backs coach Carlos) Mainord. I just found anything to try and tie them together. I went up to him, introduced myself to him, called him out of the blue, sent him my tape and they told me I could walk-on."

Davis sat out the 2011 season due to transfer rules, and began quietly earning a reputation as a steady and reliable inside receiver. He had a very strong spring -- Davis capped things off with a 52-yard touchdown catch in the spring game -- and is now in a position to both earn playing time and, eventually, a scholarship.

"Jordan had a great spring," inside receivers coach Sonny Cumbie sa said. "The one thing with him is we wanted him to get a little bigger and he did. He gained some weight this offseason. He's a guy that had a really great year in Division II and transferred here and sat out (last season). I'm excited to see how it plays out. He's really competitive, he's a tough kid and he plays really hard. I'm excited to see."

[ More RRS: More than 50 notes, quotes and tidbits from Tech's Media Day ]

Davis is firmly in the mix for a spot in the Red Raiders' inside receiver rotation and at the very least seems to have a firm grasp on a spot on the team's travel roster. He isn't taking anything for granted, though.

"I'm really not sure how it's going to happen," Davis said. "I'm just going to go out and play every day. Compete. Get better. My role is going to come to me. That's all I know."

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